• The University of Western Australia (M517), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile

Previous positions

Feb 2015 to Mar 2016       Research Assistant (Part-time employment)
School of Early Childhood, Queensland University of Technology. Supervisors: D. Sonia White, Prof Joanne Wood. Project area: Vision and early childhood education, eye movement tracking in children

Apr 2011 to Jul 2013         Research Optometrist
Ocular Surface Research Group, Singapore Eye Research Institute. Supervisor: A/Prof Louis Tong. Project area: Cornea, dry eye, ocular surface

Roles and responsibilities

Sep 2020 to current          Senior Lecturer & Research Coordinator (0.4FTE), Division of Optometry, School of Allied Health. University of Western Australia

May 2017 to current          Postdoctoral Research Fellow (0.6 FTE), Genetics and Epidemiology Group, Lions Eye Institute. Supervisor: Prof David Mackey. Project area: Ocular epidemiology

June 2017 to current          Adjunct Research Fellow, Centre of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, University of Western Australia


Dr Samantha Lee is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Lions Eye Institute and a Senior Lecturer at the Division of Optometry, University of Western Australia. In 2011, she completed a BSc(Hons)Optometry with the University of Manchester, United Kingdom. After which, she worked for two years as a Research Optometrist at the Singapore Eye Research Institute, Singapore, before obtaining a PhD degree in 2017 at the School of Optometry and Vision Science, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane. Her current area of research includes ophthalmic epidemiology, with a special interest in glaucoma and the optic disc.


2020   The University of Western Australia Research Collaboration Award. 

The UWA RCA is a competitive award that was granted to the project “Atropine Treatment of Myopia (ATOM) – an international multicentre project”. The RCA aims to promoted international research collaboration or industry research partnerships that will lead to long term research alliances. The granted amount of $24,825 will be used to support travel to collaborators’ institutes in Singapore, the United Kingdom and Europe, as well as the development of a website to increase research participant engagement. [Extended from 2020 to 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic]


2019   ARVO International Travel Grant. A competitive travel grant awarded to Members-in-training of the Association for Research and Ophthalmology who has an accepted abstract with a high score at the 2019 ARVO annual meeting. The granted amount of $1,100 provided partial travel support to present at and attend the annual ARVO conference, USA. I was also a finalist for the Members-in-training Outstanding Poster Award

2018   Healy Research Collaboration Award. A competitive award for early career researchers was awarded for the project “WA Atropine for the treatment of myopia (ATOM) Study”. The granted amount of AU$5,000 to be used for travel costs and collaboration with the Centre for Eye Research Ireland

2018   Early Career Researcher Small Grant. Funded the project “WA Atropine for the treatment of myopia (ATOM) pilot: Extension study”. Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Western Australia

2017   QUT Write up Scholarship. The Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology provided an 8-week living costs support for manuscript writing and submission for refereed publication while PhD thesis is under examination

Aug 2013 to Nov 2016  School of Optometry and Vision Science Scholarship. The Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology provided support for living cost during the course of PhD studies

Aug 2013 - Nov 2016    QUT Higher Degree Research Tuition Fee Sponsorship.  The Queensland University of Technology awarded a Sponsorship for postgraduate tuition fees


Dec 2020           Strachan Memorial Prize, 2021. This is a publication prize awarded for the paper “Associations between optic disc measures and obstructive sleep apnoea in young adults”. This annual prize is awarded by The University of Western Australia's Raine Medical Research Foundation to the best scientific paper arising from clinical research undertaken by an early-career researcher in Western Australia.

Oct 2020            Outstanding Oral Presentation. "C-reactive protein and choroidal thickness in Young Adults" , The Raine Study Annual Scientific Meeting 2020. Perth, Australia

May 2019           Finalist for Member-in-Training Outstanding Poster Award "Associations between Optic Disc Measures and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea in Young Adults", Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology 2019 Annual Meeting, Vancouver, Canada

Nov 2018             Outstanding Oral Presentation "Associations between Optic Disc Measures and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea in Young Adults", The Raine Study Annual Scientific Meeting. Perth, Australia

Jun 2018              Outstanding Abstract Award "Larger Saccades Improves Daytime Closed-Road Driving Performance of Older Adults with Glaucomatous Visual Impairment", World Ophthalmology Congress, Barcelona, Spain

Nov 2015             Judges’ Prize for Best Oral Presentation "Hazard perception and eye movements of older drivers with glaucoma". IHBI Inspires Postgraduate Student Conference, Queensland University of Technology, Australia

Aug 2014             First Runner-up, Three Minute Thesis Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology, Australia

Nov 2011             Poster Merit Award "Infrared Thermography: A Novel method of Tear Evaporimetry" 4th International Ophthalmology Conference, Singapore

Aug 2009             Essilor Overseas Internship Sponsorship. Sponsorship for 10-day internship in Hong Kong and Wenzhou, China

Teaching overview

I have been informally helping to mentor a number of medical students in their research, and was a formal supervisor for the research project of one medical student.

Jun 2019 – current      Student: Nick Stafford-Bell, University of Western Australia MD student. Informal mentorship for an extra-curriculum research experience. Project title: Sleep trajectory and myopia in young adults

Aug 2017 – Jul 2019   Student: Feroza Jeewa, University of Western Australia MD studentCo-supervision with Prof David Mackey. Project title: Ocular sun exposure in a Western Australian sporting population

Jul 2017 – Jul 2018     Student: Pauline Du, University of Western Australia MD student. Informal mentorship, with Prof David Mackey and Dr Seyhan Yazar as supervisors. Project title: Ocular sun exposure in water sports players

Jul 2017 – Jul 2018    Student: Margaret Tu, University of Western Australia MD student. Informal mentorship, with Prof David Mackey and Dr Seyhan Yazar as supervisors. Project title: Meeting the driving vision standards in young Australian adults

Community engagement


  • Guest speaker to the Raine Study Community Advisory Committee on 24 October 2020 to present my research on the association between optic disc measures and obstructive sleep apnoea
  • Interviewed by Jessica Strutt, Perth ABC radio program Focus on 14 July 2020 to talk about the link between obstructive sleep apnoea and eye problems
  • One of eight academics on 16 June 2020 that presented their research as part of the Research Bytes organized by The University of Western Australia. Research Bytes is a series of online seminars aimed at the general public. The title of the talk was “Sunlight, sleep, snores, and the silent thieves of sight
  • Participated in This Is My Science (#ThisIsMyScience) on 11 May 2020, an online social media event organized by the volunteers of Pint of Science. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, #ThisIsMyScience replced the Pint of Science talks originally planned to be held at public places such as bars and pubs. In #ThisIsMyScience, academics from all fields of science and technology shared posts on Twitter or Instagram with the general public, and responded to any questions from the general public in the form of replies to the social media posts.
  • Science Café 2018, University of Western Australia, 23 Aug 2018. High school student networking with STEM professionals
  • MC/Moderator for the QUT student chapter Lecture series of The Optical Society, 20 Apr 2016
  • Member of the IHBI Postgraduate student committee in 2015. Organized the IHBI Inspires Postgraduate Student Conference and getting other postgraduate students involved in institutional activities. I was also MC for Day 2 of the IHBI Inspires Postgraduate Student Conference


To date, Dr Lee has 26 full-length publications, including 18 as the first author, and 4 book chapters, including 2 as the first author. Her output has been steadily increasing since completing her PhD in 2017. In 2020 itself, she has published 7 papers, 6 as the first-author. Nine of her most recent 10 full-length publications are published in the top 25th centile of journals in their respective fields, including 3 in journals the top 10th percentile in the field of ophthalmology (Ophthalmology, American Journal of Ophthalmology, and British Journal of Ophthalmology).

Education/Academic qualification

Optometry and Vision Science, PhD, Queensland University of Technology

Award Date: 1 Nov 2016

Optometry, BSc (Hons) Optometry, University of Manchester

Award Date: 1 May 2011


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